Immanuel Lutheran Church in Light Pass had a lot to celebrate in September, with the month marking the 175th anniversary of the congregation, the 135th anniversary of the church building and the 50th anniversary of the Sunday school building.
As one of the oldest Lutheran congregations in Australia, Immanuel has a rich and fascinating history. The congregation was formed in 1864 by Pastor A Kavel who, along with many founding families of Immanuel Light pass, left his ancestral home in Prussia looking for freedom of worship. Light Pass was the location where these families gathered together for worship, and 175 years later we continue to do the same.
The first church, built in 1850, had pug walls and a thatched roof. After years of wear and tear due to exposure to the elements a new church was built with stone walls and an iron roof, and was dedicated in 1886. Previously known as the Light Pass Church, at this time it became the Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel church – Immanuel meaning ‘God with us’.
The Sunday school rooms were constructed in 1971. Prior to this, lessons were held in the vestry, church or the porch area. The new rooms were a blessing for children and teachers alike, with new tables and chairs and equipment that now had a permanent home.
The anniversary celebrations were held on the 19th of September 2021, led by Pastor Mathew Ker and guest preacher Wally Schiller. Red liturgical colours, for praise and thanksgiving, featured in the church, and beautiful arrangements of flowers enhanced the space. In his sermon, based on three bible texts including Genesis 28:16-17. John 6:68 and Hebrews 10:25, Pastor Wally spoke of the long history of God being in this place at Light Pass, his Word faithfully preached, and the sacraments administered. He then concluded with the encouragement to continue in faithfulness of worship as we look forward to the life that is to come. The whole service was a reminder of what our ancestors endured on their way from Prussia to Light Pass, that Jesus, Immanuel, is with us.
After the service a scrumptious lunch was served, and a beautifully decorated cake made by Cheree Boehm was cut by the chairman, Wes John. Past and present members enjoyed reminiscing and the congregations was grateful to all who attended the joyful day.